Making waves: promoting municipal water reuse without a prevailing scarcity driver

Dominic Duckett*, Mads Troldborg, Sarah Hendry, Hubert Cousin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Downloads (Pure)


The wealth of water reuse research in scarcity and/or rapid urbanisation contexts has underpinned significant change in many relatively water scarce contexts. Less progress has been achieved in water rich contexts; a fact illustrated by the lack of change on the ground. The Climate Emergency demands that all municipalities urgently contribute to more efficient resource management of water. Consequently, to advance municipal scale reuse projects in locations where scarcity is not forcing the issue, for example Scotland, there is a need to predicate water reuse on different drivers, specifically climate change and the circular economy. Moreover, greater contextual sensitivity needs to be applied when exploring barriers to reuse to more critically exploit opportunities, for example avenues to reform complex regulatory frameworks, different contingencies around trust, and different potential degrees of the yuck factor. To achieve this, new initiatives need to be urgently undertaken to consider the barriers to reuse that will not be swept aside by the imperative of  scarcity. The notion of a yum factor, whereby positive sentiments are nurtured to combat instinctive repugnance, coined as yuck by the bioethicist Arthur Caplan, is advanced as a strategic objective to promote more rapid expansion of municipal scale reuse.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120965
Number of pages6
JournalWater Research
Early online date7 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Foundation for water reuse
  • Public acceptance
  • Water abundance
  • Water justice
  • Water rich
  • Water security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Making waves: promoting municipal water reuse without a prevailing scarcity driver'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this